- Choi Minho
- Kasumi Arimura
- Lee Taemin
- Ayame Shinjo (OC)
- Other hidden casts
It was spring, when the flowers were blooming perfectly and the sky was blue clear. Somewhere inside a palace, a man who was known as prince was walking with his entourage around the palace garden. He is wearing gwanbok with blue and gold color. While he was enjoying the scenery, he heard a sound of someone crying and saw a girl squat on the other side of the small lake.
He walked closer to the girl that was crying secretly. The girl still didn’t notice anything when the prince was approaching her. She still hid her face and crying. He cleared his throat a little, trying to get the girl attention. Suddenly, the girl fall into silent on her spot and slowly look to the prince face behind her. She was shock and suddenly stood up and took a step back. “Are you alright?” asked the prince afterward
One of the maiden from the prince was observing the girl that was currently looking down from behind. After realizing something, she walked closer to the prince while she kept maintain her bow pose. “Prince, I think she’s one of them.” “What do you mean by that?” asked the prince as he looked to the maiden. “Our soldier just won a war on the east area recently and brought some of the girls who live there to the palace to be a worker here. So, I think she might be one of them. Since there are red bruise on her hand, Prince,” explained the maiden to the prince and kept standing on her position. The prince then looked to the girl that still standing on her spot and gave her an observer look. The girl didn’t notice about it and kept looking down to the ground.
“Lady Sora is coming!” shouted someone from far away. The prince entourage took a step aside while another entourage was approaching. Lady Sora was the head of the kitchen in the palace. She usually wore a combination of black and green hanbok as her outfit. Only a few maiden was following her from the back as she approaching the prince and take a slight bow when she already standing next to him.
“Good morning prince Lee Taemin.” Greet Lady Sora. She smile slightly and got a nodded as a reply. “Good morning Lady Sora,” replied the prince, Lee Taemin. Lady Sora looked straight to the girl that kept silent. “Are you Ayame?” asked Lady Sora. But the girl didn’t reply her question. “Ayame-ssi?” asked Lady Sora again. “Ayame-san?”
“Yes?” Finally the girl was answering the question after she was being called by ‘-san’. “Why are you here, Ayame-san? Get back to the kitchen now!” said Lady Sora with a serious tone. The girl that name Ayame then walked passing prince Taemin and Lady Sora with their entourage, obeying the order.
“Do you know the girl, Lady Sora?” asked prince Taemin curiously. He was confused at the scene he saw before. “She was one of the girls that the soldier brought here, prince,” answered Lady Sora. “She is supposedly working at the kitchen now. But she runaway after one of my maiden hit her hand on the manner class. I’m sorry for the inconvenient,” explained Lady Sora further. “I should get back to the kitchen now. Have a nice day, Prince Lee Taemin.” Said Lady Sora with a slight bow to Taemin and after that she and her entourage leave the spot.
Taemin still staring at Lady Sora that currently walking away and showing her back. Will the girl be alright in the kitchen? He thought. One of Taemin maiden, other from before, was walking closer to Taemin. “Prince, it’s almost time for breakfast.” “Ah arraseo, Let us go then.” Prince Taemin then continue his walked to enjoy the scenery and going to the dining hall to eat breakfast with the other family member.
On the dining hall, King Lee Jinki with Queen Park Sunyoung already sat on their seat side to side. There were 4 more empty seat left in front of them. While they were talking about the beauty of the scenery, 2 boys were approaching the hall with a loud noise and act funny. “Eomma, appa.” Greet them together with a serious expression after they were entering the hall. “Good morning. Please take your seat, Taeyong-ah, Jeno-ah.” Replied their parent and both of them took a seat side to side on the left side from the slide door side.
The next to come was another prince. He entered the hall and gave a deep bow to the parents. “Good morning, Jaejin-ah. Please take your seat.” He then sat on the right side. Taemin was the last to arrive. “I apologize for my lateness,” said Taemin with a slight bow to the people in front of him who already wait for him. “Good morning, Taemin-ah. Please take you seat,” said Jinki. Taemin sat next to Jaejin.
“Since we’ve already gathered for breakfast, I want to tell you all several news,” said Jinki with a serious tone. “First, we have won the battle on the first fortress on the east yesterday.” “Captain Donghae already comeback with the report and with some girls that were survive during the war to work here in the palace,” explained the king. “Second, today captain Eunhyuk will lead an army to the second fortress. Let us hope that everyone will comeback safely,” added him afterward.
Lady Sora was appeared suddenly on the door while the king was just finished talking. “Your majesty, your breakfast already here, Do you want to be serves now?” asked Lady Sora. Jinki nodded and smiled brightly. “Bring them in.” answered Jinki.
Then, Lady Sora took a few stepped back and 2 maiden was sliding the door wider so another maiden that holding the table full of food that will be served can walked more fast. While the food was being served by the maiden on each of the King’s family table, Jaejin, Taeyong and Jeno was excitedly staring at the plate that currently putting down one by one and being organize on their table, King Jinki and Queen Sora was watching at their children left and right, and Taemin was the only one who staring at one of the maiden that standing on the door. It looked like the girl from before, Ayame. He can recognize her because he still remembered the bruise on her hand and he noticed the same bruise on the maiden hand. Since both of the maiden’s face that standing near the door got covered, he didn’t really sure if it was really her or not.
“Lets eat then,” said the king later on after the food and the utensil already placed on the table nicely and all of the maiden that take care of their food already left, including Lady Sora. They started to eat together silently. While the others were focus on eating, Taemin took a glance to the girl that still standing on the door. Taemin still curious about the girl and made him eating slower than the others. Jaejin who noticed him also took a glance to the girl and realized nothing.
“hyung, what are you looking at?” asked Jaejin to Taemin. Jaejin question took the others attention as they were staring at Taemin while keep eating. “Aniyo, gwenchana,” answered Taemin as he looked to Jaejin. “Just eat your food, before I eat it.” Taemin jokingly said to Jaejin as he put a little of rice on his mouth. “Just eat your own food, hyung.” Jaejin then began to eat fast, Taeyong and Jeno who look at their hyung just laugh secretly while keep eating the food.
Taemin still take a few glance while eating, talking to himself on his heart. Is that you Ayame? Are you alright?
After the breakfast, all of family member left directly to their room. Taemin was the last to left the place. The girl, Ayame and the other girl were still standing on the spot and gave a slight bow every time King Jinki, Queen Sunyong, and the others were passing by. When Taemin took a step out from the door, Ayame and the other girl were gave him a slight bow and will keep doing it until he left.
“Ayame-ssi,” called Taemin. But Ayame remained silent. The other girl was took a glance to Ayame as she was waiting Ayame for answering the Prince. “Ayame?” asked Taemin again while looking straight at her. But Ayame still bowing and didn’t give him any reply. “Ayame-san?” “Yes?” replied Ayame suddenly. Taemin secretly smile a little for awhile. “See you later,” Said Taemin before he walked leaving the dining hall. He was walking through the corridor happily.
When Ayame and the other girl stand up straight, the other girl was looking straight to Ayame. “Prince just said see you later to you, Ayame-san,” said that girl to Ayame with the eastern language. “Ah really? I didn’t understand western language yet.” Ayame looked down a little, felt guilty. “I’ll teach you, Ayame-san.” “Arigatou, Micha-san,” replied Ayame with a slight smile as she feeling happy. “But why can Prince your name?” asked Micha curiously. Ayame shook her head in confused.
Lady Sora passed by the corridor and was walking straight to dining hall. Micha and Ayame suddenly showed a straight face and gave a slight bow when Lady Sora approaching. “Micha-ssi, Ayame-san. Go to the kitchen for training now,” Lady Sora gave them instruction. “Yes, Lady Sora.” Both of them then walked pass Lady Sora and went to the kitchen right away.
Ayame was one of the girls that survive from the war at fortress one. She was caught when trying to escape from the forest by the soldier. When she was being caught, she was kept silent since she didn’t understand the western language. When she was being drag to the palace with several soldiers that was led by Donghae, Lady Sora was one of the other palace head who gathered at the judgment hall. Lady Sora could speak eastern language since she was travelling to the eastern city before the war.
Ayame and several girls behind her were being tied on hand and leg as they sat on the floor. Lady Sora walked circled the girls as she was observing them. Then, she walked straight to Ayame that kept staring to Lady Sora whatever she did. “You,” Ayame was shocked when she heard that Lady Sora talked to her with the eastern language. She was staring to Lady Sora eyes. “Do you want to work on the kitchen’s palace?” asked Lady Sora directly.
In her room, Ayame was currently busy reading a book about western language that Micha gave. Micha, her roommate, was just entering the room after taking a bath. “Can you understand that book? I try really hard to translate it for you.” Said Micha as she sat next to Ayame and pointing to the book on Ayame’s hand. Micha can talk on eastern language since she was accompanied Lady Sora once when gathering ingredient on the east.
“I can understand it. Gomawo,” said Ayame thankfully. “Woa, you already used it.” Micha giggled and gave a light punch to Ayame’s arm. Ayame just smiled to Micha.
After several days, Ayame already dare to spoke on western language at the kitchen. All of maiden in the kitchen were surprised by Ayame progress. Lady Sora who kept watching her had a slight proud of Ayame, but she still kept her eye on Ayame before something bad happen.
One day, it was another breakfast time for King’s family member again. Taemin was eating slowly and the last if Ayame was the one who guarding the door. When Taemin was almost took a few steps to leave the dining hall, he turned his head to saw Ayame on her standing position. Ayame was shocked when she was looking straight to Taemin eyes and took a harsh bow. Micha was kept her standing position since she didn’t know about it.
Taemin giggled secretly. “Please tell Ayame to meet me on the garden,” said Taemin to Micha. Micha turn around and bow to the Taemin. “I’ll, Prince.” Taemin then nodded and turn around walking through the corridor to his room. Micha took a glance to Ayame and walking with her bow position to Ayame. “Did you do something wrong, Ayame-ssi?” asked Micha to Ayame on western language. “You understand what he wants to said to you, aren’t you?”
“I understand, Micha-ssi, but I didn’t do anything actually. I only meet him once,” answered Ayame as she stood up. “Mwo!? Where do you meet him? He never left the palace once.” Micha shocked as she stood up fastly. “It was my second day in the palace, when I got caught up by him crying on the garden.” Ayame looked down embarrassed.
“Ya! Why you didn’t tell me before when I asked you!?” Micha yell at her and gave a little sighed afterward. “I don’t know what will prince Taemin do to you, Ayame-ssi.” Micha grabbed Ayame chin and made her to look at her face. “I just hope we can still be a roommate. See you at the kitchen if everything is fine.” Micha turned around and walked across the corridor, went to the kitchen.
Ayame just walked straight to the garden. She has taken of the cover on her face on keep holding it with both of her hand. No one was there when she arrived. She was walking slowly while looking to the cherry blossom tree that just bloom its flower really pretty. Taemin was walking alone to the garden. He then stopped walking and looking at Ayame from far away. He can saw Ayame’s smile from her face beautifully as she still looking at the flower on the cherry blossom tree.
“Soldier at the barrack said that she’s the lucky one that got a job on the palace while the others were working on the field.” Taemin was currently has a secret meeting with Taeyong and Jeno on his room. He asked Taeyeong and Jeno to gather information around the palace about Ayame, right after the breakfast that Ayame guard the door. “A maiden said that Ayame really work hard at the palace kitchen, but because of her clumsiness she often got hit by the senior maiden on the kitchen. Even Lady Sora knows about it.”
“Did Lady Sora do anything about it?” asked Taemin curiously after Jeno story. “She didn’t do anything. She just keeps watching,” answered Jeno. “But it still weird among the maiden and the soldier thought.” “What is it?” Taeyeong looked doubt while thinking about something. “Usually the people from the eastern will be working on the field, but Ayame was the only one to be able to work at the palace, there must be a reason.”
“Have you asked Lady Sora?” asked Taemin. “We didn’t dare to ask about that for now. Lady Sora was currently busy preparing for the spring festival.” Taeyeong answered. “But hyung, why you were curious about Ayame? Do you…” “I just want to know the last gossip around the palace. That’s all” Taemin cut Jeno word right away.
The wind blew gentle and warm. Some petals were falling down from the tree, making the view that Prince Taemin currently enjoy look more beautiful than before. Ayame smile brighter and she look really innocent while watching the petals were falling down from the tree. Taemin smile suddenly. As his heart pounds faster than usual and felt the time had freeze at that time.
“That innocent girl who cry secretly, hiding her pain all alone, and keeping a smile on her face all along is the strongest girl that you ever seen. Eventhought we haven’t talk to each other, I will be the one who approaching you first.”
“Your smile will be the reason why I live. I want to see your innocent smile more. I’ll protect you eventhought we are far away than the love itself.”
-Chapter 1 end-
TBC to Chapter 2